Centrelink Family Payments

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Centrelink Family Payments and Other Centrelink Benefits

In Australia the government agency Centrelink is responsible for providing social services, family payments and assistance to the Australian people.

Once you arrive in Australia as a permanent resident there is generally a 2 year waiting period before you can claim benefits.

Family Tax Benefit and Child Care Benefit are exceptions,they can be claimed immediately.

CENTRELINK (Social Services)

On arrival in Australia you will generally have to live as a resident on a permanent visa for a period of 2 years before you are legible for State Benefit (Social Security in the UK)Payments such as

  • unemployment benefit,
  • sickness benefit,
  • student allowances etc…

To claim age and disability pensions you need to have lived here for 10 years (this could be less if your country of origin is covered by the international social security agreement). You may also be entitled to an allowance or pension if you become widowed, disabled or a sole parent after arriving here in Australia

JUST REMEMBER it is important that when you arrive in Australia you have enough funds to support yourself and dependents for the first 2 year period of your arrival.

However, should there be a substantial change in your circumstances, which is beyond your control then you may be able to get Special Benefit during the waiting period. This benefit is only available in limited circumstances which do not cover inability to find work of lack of funds due to a poor budget. Do your sums before you arrive in Perth and be sure you have enough money to support yourselves.


If you arrive as a Permanent Resident and have dependent children then you may qualify for Family Tax Benefit and/or Child Care Benefit (Family Credit/Family Allowance in the UK ).

The income support you will receive will depend on a number of factors such as:-

  • total income,
  • number of children,
  • if you use child care and what type etc….

As in the UK this benefit is an income supplement only and not enough to live on alone.

For more information about the Centrelink Family Payments available you can visit the Family Assistance Website. This is a government website set up by the Australian Government to give Australian families better access to government services